Tsukemono : the beautiful art of Japanese pickles

I just adore the range of pickled veg I’ve had in Japan. Being a fan of preserving and pickling generally, I really appreciate the care and thought behind even a tiny plate of 2 or 3 varieties presented with a bowl of rice. Pickles are an important part of Japanese cuisine, and particularly of the rice element of a keiseki meal, also. ???????????????????????????????

They range from the simple, lightly vinegared cucumber slices, as above, and the pink ginger familiar from our sushi trays, the wonderfully sour umeboshi, to elaborate, delicately fragrant varieties and even – to my delight – pickled blossom. Read more….

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Miso with that?

So. Been away a while – please forgive the silence. Our jaunt in Japan – sadly now becoming a distant memory – got rather in the way of blog writing. I’m working on a review of our foodie exploits; and to whet your appetite, here’s some miso encrusted radishes in a stall full of miso encrusted whatnots:IMG_7911Well, I hope it’s miso, anyway.

 

Momofuku Seiobo

I love the fanfare stage of a new restaurant – it’s interesting to read about the venture, the chef, menus etc. But it’s hellishly hard to get into Sydney restaurants that are still flavour of the month. I usually wait until all the hoohah has died down before trying for a table.

Not that that really applies to Momofuku Seiobo at the Star. Despite having been open for months, the place seems to be booked out the minute the new spaces are released online at 10am each morning. It’s a system almost designed to keep a certain mystique and exclusivity going.

Recently however, I was lucky – having already set up a login for their booking system (yeesh, ages ago) I was on the digital spot at 9:58, waiting. To my intense annoyance, rather than being able to just refresh the screen at 10am I had to log back in again instead, thus losing me precious seconds before getting back to the ‘select lunch or dinner’ screen. By the time I reached the booking screen itself some 90 seconds later, one of the 5 lunch timeslots was already booked out. Happily however, 12:20 remained, and my reservation was in! You have to hope it’s worth it after all this booking palaver!

Arriving unfashionably early on the day, we requested seats at the bar/kitchen area. It’s one of my favourite locations and has been foolproof entertainment at Bodega & MoVida in the past. And so it was to be again. We could take sneaky stares at part of the kitchen, noting the British flag stuck to a notice board (head Chef a Brit); watching the incredibly detailed weighing of individual pieces of dough as they were being cut and rolled; admire the glass refrigerator wall dividing Kitchen from Dining areas, and stare at the goings on of the chefs:

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